Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Monday, November 25, 2013
Nelson: Receivers pressed too much

By Matt Ehalt

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets' receivers and tight ends haven't had too many days worth remembering this year, but Sunday's efforts were by far the worst of the season.

The Jets were led by 48 yards from Greg Salas, which is the fewest yards by a Jets' single-game leader this season, and the receivers combined for only 60 receiving yards in the 19-3 loss to Baltimore. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith had more receiving yards than every wide receiver except Salas.

David Nelson
The Jets receivers couldn't quite get a grip on the ball in Baltimore.
Receiver David Nelson, who was held without a catch, said Monday the receivers "pressed" too much.

"We have to do a better job of catching the ball when the ball is thrown our way. I think yesterday we were trying to press a little too much," Nelson said. "We were trying to make big plays as a receiving group instead of just taking what was giving to us. We became way too impatient and we were trying to press too much."

The Jets only had 140 passing yards Sunday, with receiver Josh Cribbs even completing a 13-yard pass to Smith, but the receivers didn't make plays to help their quarterback. Of the 10 completions on the day, three went to running back Bilal Powell. Nelson, Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill hauled in just one of their 10 targets, with Holmes providing the lone 12-yard catch.

Nelson said the pass-catchers pressing too much manifested itself in various ways. He said it could have been trying to turn five-yard routes into 60-yard plays, perhaps not looking the ball into their hands or even not running routes correctly. The Jets staff said there were three drops by the unit.

"It just seemed yesterday we tried to put too much on ourselves as receivers to take over the game when we should have just let the game come to us," Nelson said.

The lack of performance by the tight ends and receivers is a consistent problem for the Jets. The team has just two 100-yard outings by its receivers, and both came Sept. 22 against a ravaged Bills secondary.

In the Jets' last four games, their leading receiver has 80, 57, 71 and 48 yards. Just once in their last eight games has the Jets' leading receiver totaled more than 80 yards.

Jets coach Rex Ryan doesn't believe the team lacks play makers but just wants to see them get healthy. The team is currently without Jeremy Kerley (elbow), while Holmes and Kellen Winslow have also missed multiple games, although Winslow's absence was due to a suspension.

"I think we have weapons. We need more consistency," Ryan said. "I think part of it is the practice field, some of the timing might be off, all that. We haven't had a full complement of guys on the practice field. ... That plays into it a little as well. You worked a certain route now you have a different player running that route. We got to get healthy and get our guys back on the practice field."